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Last modified: June 11, 2003


"The Learning Technology Standards Committee (LTSC) was chartered by the IEEE Computer Society Standards Activity Board to develop accredited technical standards, recommended practices and guides for learning technology. The LTSC coordinates formally and informally with other organizations that produce specifications and standards for similar purposes. Standards development is done in working groups via a combination of face-to-face meetings, teleconferences, and exchanges on discussion groups." As of 2003-05, there were six (6) principal Working and Study Groups: [1] P1484.1 Architecture and Reference Model WG; [2] P1484.4 Digital Rights Expression Language (DREL) WG; [3] P1484.11 Computer Managed Instruction (CMI) WG; [4] P1484.12 Learning Objects Metadata (LOM) WG; [5] P1484.18 Platform and Media Profiles WG; [6] P1484.20 Competency Definitions WG.

"The mission of IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee (LTSC) working groups is to develop technical Standards, Recommended Practices, and Guides for software components, tools, technologies and design methods that facilitate the development, deployment, maintenance and interoperation of computer implementations of education and training components and systems. The purpose of the LTSC XML Ad Hoc Group is to study XML as an emerging Internet technology and specifically its applicability to the Working Groups of the LTSC. In this role, LTSC XML Ad Hoc Group will serve interested membership through discussion of ongoing XML trends, as well as development of examples of Working Group standards implemented in XML. Technically, the LTSC XML Ad Hoc Group intends to cover: 1) General discussion of relevant XML trends and developments; 2) Tutorial activities on specific technical issues; 3) Language definition projects; 4) Supporting implementation projects. Of special interest are: 1) Issues related to 'semantic interoperability'' 2) Using XML to operationally define the meaning of 'harmonization'; 3) Promoting vendor neutral solutions. There is no assumption that mainstream IEEE LTSC standardization efforts will necessarily adopt the work product of the LTSC XML Ad Hoc Group. However, if a working group finds an example relevant, then it will move to that group for incorporation into their standards activity."

"Unlike mainstream IEEE LTSC standardization efforts, the LTSC XML Ad Hoc Group is not a formally chartered IEEE group. At present IEEE LTSC is not chartered to conduct "technical activities." The LTSC XML Ad Hoc Group is a pilot effort to explore if it makes sense to expand the IEEE LTSC charter to include these in the future. LTSC XML Ad Hoc Group activities are conducted through the LTSC-XML discussion list and by face-to-face meetings held in conjunction with the quarterly IEEE LTSC meetings." [from the main page, 980831]

"In the June IEEE LTSC meeting, members of the LTSC XML Ad Hoc group agreed to develop some sample XML DTDs for the draft IEEE LTSC Learning Object Metadata specification. The basis for this work is the draft Learning Object Metadata specification submitted to IEEE LTSC by the EDUCOM IMS and ARIADNE projects." Two DTDs has been developed in which there is a one-to-one mapping between the data elements defined in the LOM specification and element types declared in the DTD. Samples are available from the Web site.

Digital Rights Expression Language (DREL) Working Group

The DREL Working Group was created in the context of the IEEE-LTSC "to define a DREL standard" -- according to the DREL Workgroup Project Definition Report (PDR) of April 4, 2003. The project constraints clarified, however, that the "purpose of this project is not to establish a new standard, but rather give a recommendation on existing RELs and provide extensions if need be."

[June 11, 2003] As posted to the website, two "data calls" were issued by the Digital Rights Expression Languages (DREL) workgroup within the IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee, which "is gathering requirements that a standardized DREL must meet to support learning, education, and training... (1) The 2 June 2003 'Request for Input on Educational and Training Requirements' document explains what a standardized DREL can do and what types of applications we envision for it. We invite you to submit comments and (especially) specific areas and scenarios that you feel a standardized DREL should support. (2) The Digital Rights Expression Languages (DREL) workgroup is [also] gathering information on DREL specifications, standards, and standards development efforts. The 3 June 2003 'Surveying Relevant Digital Rights Expression Language (DREL) Standards and Specification v4.0' draft document identifies several such efforts. We are asking for your input and feedback on any relevant rights expression language specifications, standards, and standards development efforts not listed in the document. We are looking specifically for DRELs that are most general and that are getting the most attention in industries related to learning, education, and training..."

[May 19, 2003] An Approval Letter of May 15, 2003 for "P1484.4: Recommended Practice for Digital Rights Expression Languages (DRELs) Suitable for eLearning Technologies" informed the group that the IEEE-SA Standards Board had approved the project until 31-December-2007. "The purpose of this project is to facilitate the creation, management and delivery of digital content for eLearning by technology that implements digital rights expression languages. The recommended practice should determine what, if any, extensions are needed so that these DREL can meet the identified requirements... This project should produce a recommended practice identifying Digital Rights (DR) requirements for eLearning technologies. These requirements should be aligned with the most widely known standards-based specifications for DREL that are being adopted or developed by international, regional, national and private organizations and consortia." As of 2003-05, the Co-Chairs were Magda Mourad ( and Juliette Adams (

[June 24, 2002] LTSC DREL Project (Digital Rights Expression Language). "The IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee (LTSC) has authorized the formation of a study group on digital rights management. The purpose is to: (1) Gather requirements for a digital rights management standard for learning technology; (2) Research existing practice and standardization efforts, and (3) Recommend one or more projects. In cooperation with CEN-ISSS WSLT, the IEEE LTSC is sponsoring two workshops: June 20 [2002] in Kirkland, and July 4 [2002 in Brussels to kick off this process. See: (1) the detailed agenda and list of presentations for the June 20 meeting; (2) Digital Rights Expression Workshop Forum; (3) Brussels workshop in conjunction with the July 2-3 [2002] meeting of CEN/ISSS LTWS. Rationale: "There is a critical need for expressing digital rights in the context of learning, education and training. Placeholders for rights are built into specifications for metadata, repositories, and learner information, but the learning technology standards community has been waiting for applicable standards to emerge from other industries before determining how to use these placeholders. These standards are emerging now, so it is time to determine the best way forward." The 'ltsc-drel' mailing list [] "supports the work of the Digital Rights Expression Language (DREL) group within the IEEE LTSC. It is to be used for discussing documents, posting meeting information, and discussing issues directly relating to the work of this group." Subscribe by sending a message to with no subject line and the words subscribe LTSC-DREL in the message body.

[December 09, 2002] "Towards a Digital Rights Expression Language Standard for Learning Technology." Draft DREL White Paper for discussion. A Report of the IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee Digital Rights Expression Language Study Group. Principal Authors: Norm Friesen, Magda Mourad, Robby Robson. Contributing Authors: Tom Barefoot, Chris Barlas, Kerry Blinco, Richard McCracken, Margaret Driscoll, Erik Duval, Brad Gandee, Susanne Guth, Renato Ianella, Guillermo Lao, Hiroshi Maruyama, Kiyoshi Nakabayashi, Harry Picarriello, Peter Schirling. 29 pages. Posted 2002-12-09 by Robby Robson (Eduworks) to the LTSC-DREL mailing list. "This report has been generated within the context of the Learning Technology Standards Committee (LTSC) of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). The LTSC develops accredited technical standards, recommended practices and guides for learning technology. 'Digital rights' is an area of vital importance to all industries that deal with digital content, including the industries of learning, education, and training. As a consequence the LTSC formed a study group in 2002 to examine digital rights standards and standards development efforts in light of applications to learning technology. This effort has focused on digital rights expression languages, i.e., languages in which rights can be expressed and communicated among cooperating technologies. Digital rights themselves exist as policy or law and are therefore not within the scope of a standards development organization. Technology is involved in enforcing digital rights, for example by disabling the ability to make unauthorized copies, but the LTSC almost exclusively deals with standards that support interoperability and not with implementation issues of this type. In this spirit the LTSC study group concentrated on making recommendations for standardizing a digital rights expression language with the specific charge to (1) Investigate existing standards development efforts for digital rights expression languages (DREL) and digital rights. (2) Gather DREL requirements germane to the learning, education, and training industries. (3) Make recommendations as to how to proceed. Possible outcomes included, a priori, recommending the adoption of an existing standard, recommending the creation of an application profile of an existing standard, or creating a new standard from scratch. (4) Feed requirements into ongoing DREL and digital rights standardization efforts, regardless of whether the LTSC decides to work with these efforts or embark on its own. This report represents the achievement of these goals in the form a of a white paper that can be used as reference for the LTSC, that makes recommendations concerning future work, and that can be shared with other organizations..." [source .DOC]


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